What if no one picks up my Instacart order?

Today, I thought of making noodles. But I was feeling lazy to go pick it up from Walmart. So I opted for a food delivery service instead. Of course, Instacart was my first choice. But here’s the challenge; no one is taking my Instacart order. Why is that?

It’s simple, really. I narrowed down all the possible reasons to three; I didn’t tip enough, I ordered during peak hours, and my location is far.

If you’re also having the same problem, you must be wondering, “what if no one picks up my Instacart order eventually?”. The good news is that it’s not the end of the world. So let’s find out the worst that can happen if no one accepts your Instacart order.

What will happen if Instacart shoppers don’t accept my order?

If Instacart shoppers don’t accept your order, there are two things that could happen. First, the Instacart app will automatically reroute your order to other shoppers. Multiple shoppers can view your order at a time and decide whether to accept it or not. 

Man ordering food on mobile phone with laptop sitting on his laps

If none of them accept it, the app will continue to pass on the order to different groups of shoppers. But if there are no shoppers available, the Instacart app will cancel your order. If you were charged during the waiting period, then you should expect a refund. 

If you didn’t see it in your account, then you can request for a refund. Just make sure to do it within 7 days of placing the order. If it exceeds those 7 days, then you become ineligible to request for a refund. 

Instacart will process the request immediately, but it would take 5 to 10 days for your money to reflect on your account. 

To hasten the process, it’s best to request for the refund on the same day you experienced the issue. Instacart will then process the request and refund the money within 24 hours.

What are the reasons why no one is taking my Instacart order?

When Instacart drivers or shoppers ignore your order, it could be because of the reasons I mentioned above. Let’s see how those make sense:

Far locations

Instacart shoppers can see your location on the app. If your apartment or hostel is far from your selected store, then the shopper will be discouraged to make that trip, especially if you’re tipping low.

Man staring at mobile GPS map while driving

This is why Instacart started hiding customer addresses from shoppers. Until the shopper accepted the order, they wouldn’t be able to see your location. This update stirred an uproar amongst shoppers who claimed that it was putting them in danger.

So is it your fault for living so far? Not at all. But here’s the annoying thing; Instacart drivers are like independent contractors. So there’s no policy that forces them to accept your order.

If they personally decide to ignore you, then they can’t be punished or fined for it. Your best option would be to wait for another shopper to accept the order. Alternatively, you can just use another delivery service like DoorDash.

Discouraging tips

Another reason no one is accepting your Instacart order is because your tips aren’t encouraging. You can blame this attitude on Instacart’s app. It shows the shoppers how much you are going to tip them for that order.

Glass jar with the word "tip" labelled on it

Usually, Instacart recommends customers to tip its associates 5% of the total bill. So if you order items worth $100, you can leave a $5 tip or higher. So if you were to leave a lower tip than that, it can discourage shoppers from accepting your order. The best way to resolve this is to lure Instacart shoppers with big tips.

Peak hours

Peak hours refer to the busiest hours of the day. For example, 12 AM to 2 PM in the mornings and 4 to 6 PM in the evenings. During peak hours traffic congestion is common. This is because people are either rushing for work, dropping off their kids in school, or doing the reverse; going home and picking up kids from school.

Traffic congestion

During these hours, Instacart shoppers will experience slow order fulfillment days due to the difficulty in moving around the city. If there’s a shortage of shoppers available, that could also impact the response time to your order.


Now I know why no one is taking my Instacart order, and so do you! Meanwhile, you can check out these Instacart-related articles. You could learn more about the company’s services and policies: